Here begins the posthumous exploitation phase of the Legend of Julia Child: Child's family is angry because Thermador Appliances has used her image in some print ads (above) and on their social media. It seems the rights to Child's name and image lie with the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, and their intellectual property manager tells the Los Angeles Times, "The foundation feels really strongly about continuing to conduct itself as Julia would have. And she was adamant that she not personally endorse products or brands." So now the foundation is suing Thermador for millions.
Thermador has pulled the Child references from their social media, but since print is forever here's an ad that ran in Smithsonian Magazine. It reads: "An American Icon With Her American Icons." While Child did, in fact, use Thermador's wall-mounted ovens on her television show, she rather famously refused to endorse products. The Times quotes her great nephew, Paul Prud'homme, quoting Child: "Your name is your most valuable asset, and you should be very careful how it's used."
The foundation demanded Thermador stop using Child's image this summer, after which they were asked for permission by DGWB, the ad agency running the campaign. Better late than never? They were denied, and now the foundation is suing Thermador and the ad agency for "millions" in damages and a cut of profits from the campaign.